In Mississippi, Adoption By Same-Sex Couples Is Still Illegal, Couples Are Now Challenging The Law In Court

Mississippi is one of the few states that still deny adoption to same-sex parents. Mississippi’s one-sentence adoption ban has thus far withstood the test of time, but now, modern realities are challenging it. Specifically, one Mississippi couple has filed a suit against the state.

At first glance, the story of Susan Hrostowski and Kathryn Garner, a couple, appears on paper just like any heterosexual couple. Two people who cannot have children wish to adopt; however, because they are both females in the state of Mississippi this simple family wish is unreachable for them. Though the laws of the state are still in effect, many residents of Mississippi are protesting against them because they feel it is not up to date with the times. The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision is reportedly the main fuel for the challenge against Mississippi laws. The U.S. District judge assigned to the lawsuit, Daniel Jordan, considers the ban on same-sex adoption unconstitutional.

“The Mississippi adoption ban is an outdated relic of a time when courts and legislatures believed that it was somehow OK to discriminate against gay people simply because they are gay.”

Based on U.S. Census Data, there are 3,484 same-sex couples residing in Mississippi, therefore a call for equality may not be far-fetched. Recently, Attorney General Roberta Kaplan even made a statement in favor of the lawsuit and against the outdated laws in Mississippi.

“Mississippi’s ban on adoption by gay and lesbian couples blatantly discriminates against loving families, unfairly harms innocent children, and plainly cannot be reconciled with the constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection as recently interpreted by the Supreme Court.”

Hrostowski and Garner, though they are the originators of the suit, are not alone in challenging the state. Reportedly, a few other same-sex couples who wish to adopt have joined the suit as plaintiffs. What exactly do all these same-sex couples expect to accomplish? Based on a statement made by Brittany Rowell and Jessica Harbuck, it’s the simple joy of having a family.

“We want to open our home to a child and make them feel safe, wanted and loved,” the pair said. “And we would be honored to be able to change the life of a child.”

Three other couples have also joined the lawsuit in hopes of bringing children into their modern family situations. According to Reuters, about 100 children are currently in foster care and legally available for adoption. It appears that the plaintiffs feel that banning same-sex couples from adoption is detrimental to the futures of Mississippi’s parent-less children.

[Image via Slate]